We all know moving can be a headache. But there are ways to make it easier. Some simple organization and preparation – while still being flexible enough to pivot when the inevitable issue happens – can help take some of the pain out of your moving experience.
- Don’t procrastinate
It may sound silly and obvious, but the earlier you can begin packing, the better. Start with a checklist organized by room. Breaking your list down into smaller pieces makes it easier to manage. Pack any clothes that you don’t wear regularly (or just isn’t in season). Leave just the dishes, glasses, and utensils you use each day and wash them over and over until you move. Pro tip: mark the box containing these kitchen items and unpack it first! That way, you’ll have them the first night in your new home.
- You can’t have too many boxes
Start collecting boxes or buying boxing or begging for boxes ASAP. Your local grocery store and liquor store are good resources and are usually looking to get rid of boxes. If you do get boxes from a grocery store, be sure to check them for pests before bringing them into your home. If they don’t have any boxes ready, ask what day they receive shipments so you can check back when they have them. Store boxes carefully flattened and tape them together as you use them. That way, you can collect as many as possible without taking up too much room. You can always reach out to friends and family who do a lot of online shopping, they almost always have a surplus of boxes at the ready.
- Change of address
You can change your address online or in person at the post office, but don’t stop there. Just like your packing checklist, jot down all the places that require an address update including credit cards, insurance, bank, magazines, and any online delivery subscriptions you may have in the queue. Most companies allow you to make updates online but be prepared to make a few phone calls along the way. Keep your checklist handy to confirm that everything has been updated; this will keep you from being hit with late fees from missed mail. Make sure to have a list of the ones you have changed so you don’t do double work. Also, think about where you’re headed and make sure the conveniences you have come to know and love at your current home are ready for you at your new home. Contact your internet and cable provider to make sure the service comes with you and call your pest control company to see if they can also service your new home. That way, you’ll have the vendors you already trust along with you instead of having to look for a new one.
- Start shopping for a moving company right away
Yes, they can be costly, but they are worth it. The right company will have insurance if anything breaks and will save your back and knees a lot of pain and suffering. But you will want to do your research on them. Check online reviews and ask for a recommendation from local Facebook pages – both your current town’s and the one associated with the town you’re moving to. The information you receive can save you time and money.
- Leave it the way you found it
If you’re moving from an apartment, be sure to fix any holes in the walls and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls (using the original color no matter how plain and boring it may have been). If you pack the items on the walls early, it will make painting much easier. And be sure to clean the place well before you leave. If the landlord has to have a deep cleaning done, they could take it out of your security deposit. If you’re leaving a house, cleaning is a good idea, too. People bought your home – you want them to be happy when they get there.
The key points here are starting early – don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by leaving it to the last minute. Plan, plan, plan. Create a list of the things you need up until moving day and then systematically pack the rest. As you pack, be honest with yourself and throw away anything you don’t need or want anymore. If it doesn’t bring you joy when you hold it – get rid of it! No need to pay for moving something you don’t even want or need anymore.
Remember to mark your boxes by room and contents. Mark at least three sides so that you never have to search too far for your answer. If you hired movers, or even if you have a few friends helping, this will also ensure that your items make it to the correct place the first time around. And most importantly, relax! When you start to feel stressed from the move, know that your new home awaits.